31 October, 2008

Rachel Maddow Show, Comments

Last night as I watched the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, I came to a comment that made me pause. After she played her interview with Obama, which was in a very relaxed tone able to flesh out some of the issues, she spoke about conservatism being bad for American. I thought about it and realized, this is precisely what I have been trying to say with my developmental theory idea. I think my theory was a bit misunderstood in terms of education etc. But I use the term education to mean growth in all areas of life, through experience, opportunity, access, travel, and other means to engage the thought process for better understanding.

Conservatism keeps the society at large at a level 2 stage, right or wrong, black or white. Until we are able to embrace change, look at issues and try to find the gray areas, we will never progress to further levels of development. If we had a 3 or 5 party system, then we would be able to really give options and help better engage our country into serious reflection. I would love to see the country get out of level 2 development and move onto bigger and better things. But with Conservatism weighing us down like an anchor, it will not help us progress. There is more to life that clinging onto the past and what was a good political philosophy. WE all need to grow and mature beyond what our ancestors and family have done.

This is the REAL American Dream, making a better life than your parents. Hmmm, something to think about.

30 October, 2008

Political Ascention if You will.

A friend emailed me a link to maps that support my theory discussing educational achievements to political affiliation and philosophy. Now as I have been having this dialogue here, she has been sharing a financial perspective that many of you may connect with. I suggest reading her story and the comments section in order to gain a better idea of the financial issues faced by middle America.

This idea I propose between level of education to level of development to political party affiliation or support is not far fetched. Development theory is based on how people evolve in this human form throughout our lifetime. It basically shows how our thinking is either stunted or morphed to new levels of understanding and comprehension. It is not stretch to apply it to a political philosophy, even though, hardly anyone will do it. Because if they do, those who fancy themselves as highly educated will not be able to defend their support of a GOP ticket. The GOP supports base philosophies. This is not saying right or wrong, but factual. It is the conservative party. Here is a list of definitions for the word conservative found on Google:

Definitions of conservative on the Web:

* resistant to change
* having social or political views favoring conservatism
* cautious: avoiding excess; "a conservative estimate"
* button-down: unimaginatively conventional; "a colorful character in the buttoned-down, dull-grey world of business"- Newsweek
* a person who is reluctant to accept changes and new ideas
* bourgeois: conforming to the standards and conventions of the middle class; "a bourgeois mentality"
* a member of a Conservative Party

It is right there in black and white... resistant to change, dull, reluctant to accept new ideas.

Bourgeois defined in Google: The Marxist term for the middle classes whose interest it is to preserve the status quo.

Hmmm Marxist? Isn't this what the conservative party has been trying to blame Obama for? Really get it straight people!

I wish this educational link and development of people was discussed more in the media. Personally, I want to live in a society where we can progress beyond level 2/3. The republican’s are about a 2 and the Dems are about a 3 /4. There are around 8 levels roughly give or take, pending the theorist. How awesome it would be to achieve level 8 as a society!

Achieving the highest level moves beyond politics and goes straight to the core of life, meaning and purpose. We move directly into spiritual space and time. This is my focus in this life, so yes I will support anything that gets us to this goal. Funny how religions really don't care to push this idea, because it would usurp their position in the world. Or so they think.

As this is my focus, to achieve the highest level of development in my lifetime, I want our society to progress. If the society does not progress it is very difficult for an individual to achieve this goal, unless the individual lives in seclusion. Because I interact with society at large, I have to climb down my ladder of development from time to time in order to function in society. Trust me some of the places I have lived, well lets just say it was more frequent than other places. I am not saying anything false or rude, but factual. When you are around a person that doesn't speak your language, you have to start off with the more base forms of communication. Only when you both can start to better understand are you able to introduce more complex language. The same idea is applied to your development. If you are at level 6, how can you expect a person at level 2 to understand what you can see? They have to go through each level first before they can see the vista you are witnessing.

There is a self proclaimed theorist, Ken Wilbur, who took all the levels of development, and put them in one single spot on a map. It is fascinating to go through the process. As I have studied each theorists separately, I was excited to see the integration on a mass scale. After I went through his process, I was blown away by the realization of where our society could actually be. It is a futuristic place that I am not scared to dream of, but would love to witness. Some would say it parallels the theories behind the disappearances of the Mayans… maybe they just all rose above consciousness simultaneously and ascended! How freaking cool!

But we will never see this with war, discrimination, poverty of the soul, corruption, greed, ego, power, etc. I am saddened and this is precisely why I strive to find a place to live that is in tune with mother earth, so I can hear her rhythms. I go back to it time and time again, but Europe is special in how they treat people. Yes they have some of the same issues, but there is a difference in the treatment of people. The philosophy of living is different. Maybe it is due to the fact, they don’t attempt to separate church and state, maybe they allow for the spirit to be alive in the country. Maybe it is due to their connection with food, the land, and not overachieving greed. Maybe it is because they were around longer and already made it through some of these levels, after all America is a younger country. I don’t know the answer, but when I am in Europe, I feel different like I struck a common cord. I see something smart about these people, as a whole, mind you. You catch glimpses here in the states among certain communities but as a whole.. it isn’t here yet.


If anyone asked my dream for America? It would be that as a society we would link with countries around the world and truly integrate life as we know it. Maintain our individual beauty, but allow for sharing on a level that is heavenly. Why not reach for this dream? We all have some form of higher power inside each of us. We all have a soul that is already connected to a "Heavenly" idea, but we forgot our purpose, our starting position and our final goal. We forgot the beauty we came from, that tiny starlight spark of purity.

29 October, 2008

Tears of Hope and Promise

I just finished watching Obama's special TV event. As I was sitting there, watching and praying for positive change, I started to tear up. He was speaking to me, letting me know that he hears how I want the best education for my boys, how I struggle with buying milk and how my husband works hard, 14 hours a day hard on his feet hard and barely makes enough money to keep us surviving.

I want change, I want honesty and I want a good quality of life. This is America and this is the promise of this great land. Why have so many people been left out of the good life?

Yes I cried silently as my eyes filled with tears. I pray we have a real chance going forward. It is too scary a world to raise children and provide for them they way they deserve. I want better for my boys. We should all want better.

28 October, 2008

Change of Weather

Okay, we recently moved to Florida from Ohio, as most of you know. Today, we awoke to low temps, in the 60's. The entire family was overjoyed to put on long pants and turn off the AC! Fall it is finally here! I am not certain how long this will last, but we are loving every bit of this brisk weather.

An observation hit me today. My boys have their internal rhythms set to a 4 season cycle. It was important to me to teach the boys about the seasons and living presently in each and every one of them. Today I realized they got it. It is alive and well within their being. My boys have been yearning for fall and warm clothes the past month. Their internal rhythms are programmed and telling their body what it needs. Interesting to observe this and see it for what it is. Soon they will be longing for snow. Cooler weather Florida will provide, snow, well that is a long shot!

27 October, 2008

Politics and Education

Recently, I have been sharing an email exchange with a friend. She happens to be a registered Republican, but has had her share of frustration with her party. She is really disappointed that Hillary is not on a ticket as she would have crossed the party lines to vote her way.

Our exchanges, though, are really brought about due to the "fear" campaigning out of McCain's camp. This friend still thinks of Obama as a Muslim with Muslim connections and has decided that he is not patriotic due to the fact he didn't have his flag pin on. (Let's get educated on the idea of freedom of religion and freedom of choice to wear what we want when we want).

I know there are people in this country with certain hang ups and limitations when it comes to being inclusive, however, it never ceases to amaze me when I realize I know one of them. These ideas of fear seem to take advantage of those with less education. This idea is the one that has spurred many a dialogue among my friends. Here is my opinion on the issue at hand...

My education and training is in development theory. Imagine every possible type of person in this country, gay, white, black, lesbian, disabled, religious affiliation etc. Then take your top theorists and practitioners and develop a system in which these different groups trend to develop in their lifetime. There are certain peaks and plateaus reached by all groups. This was the focus for my Master's Degree and I have applied these ideas in my professional life as well.

I found this interesting correlation between personal development and political affiliation. If you watch the electoral maps, you will note those areas trending Democratic are areas of higher learning typically. The areas trending red or traditionally thought of as the GOP base are rural areas. Rural areas tend to lack certain access, whether it be to cable, internet, education, social programs etc. The ideas are homegrown and usually sustained by religion institutions.

When we study development theory, we learn that most people start out as the infant stage, having basic needs met and being taught what to believe. As the person matures, these ideas are sustained through family and community. Once the person hits adulthood, they will adapt these ideals as their own, unless challenged or faced with something different, either a perspective or experience. After this challenge/opportunity for growth, the individual has to make sense of it and place it is context to their own being. The goal would be to find a place for this new idea and to move forward in their development. Learning and growing in new ways to become a multifaceted human being that is open to newness and opportunity. But we know through time, that change is not seen as opportunity to some. In fact, change is seen as something foreign, unacceptable and unrelatable. This is when we see people becoming close minded and shut off from expansion.

When a person decides to close off, they become entrenched in their circle of influence, being family, community etc. They are unwilling to grow further and have in essence stunted their growth and development. Let's put this example in context. Remember in our history when different immigrant groups arrived to North America? Each group was told to stay together, marry one of your own kind, hold onto your traditions, etc. If that idea held true, then there would be no Irish Italians, Jewish Cubans, English Germans or French Scots. We would have stayed in our own circle of development and stagnated. But the few who took that leap of faith and saw possibility created a culture we now know. How beautiful this culture is today!

We can share in culture, history, tradition and open ourselves to a wealth of experiences. I for one am glad that my mother stepped outside of her Italian Catholic Sandbox to play with my Southern Baptist Dad. Then I took this idea and married my Jewish New Yorker hubbie. My children are able to learn a myriad of cultures, share in several traditions and they accept it as their life. It isn't strange or odd or wrong, it just is their life and they love it all the same.

Now let's get back to Politics.

Look at each party and define what they stand for. Each one has its base which is telling if you really look at it. This past weekend, I watched D. L. Hughley on CNN ask the following question to a group of young white men, "Define the GOP base, am I one of them?" The young group of white men, laughed out loud and said "No way". So there are definitions of what the base looks like? Clearly we could go into a ton of race issues with this comment, but the truth is there are definitions of a base.

Typically, GOP is supported by ultra conservative Christians, those long standing families with a lot of money and farmers. All of these groups trend white, conservative and limited in their vision. If we apply it to development theory, they are stuck and have decided to not grow beyond their circle of influence.

Democrats seem to capture the mixed bag. You will have the ivy leaguers, the women, the various colors of race, gays, Catholics, Jews, etc. It seems Democrats pull a variety of people because the believe in being inclusive, accepting of all people, no matter the age, race, sexual orientation or religious affiliation.

The Democratic plight is to help all people and to build a strong foundation for which people may grow and develop. They are not interested in stunting growth or instilling fear so people run back to their base. They challenge and promote change. Oddly enough this was the first choice for their campaign slogan, Change!

Now how many of you have heard the following ideas the past 3 months....I am just an ordinary hockey mom, I am not fancy, small town, small town ideas, those high brow, ivy leaguers, Up town, Scranton folks etc. It seems people who are educated are seen as elite and not able to support small town ideas and the average Joe. But I ask you, are we just an average nation, small minded people that live under rocks?

So are we to conclude that educated people are Democrats and uneducated people are Republicans? Listen to Sarah Palin and John McCain, what are they telling you? I wish the media would tackle this topic. I would love to see CNN actually take this idea and explore it further.

The more we develop, embrace change the more we see other people as just people. We start to become inclusive and we tackle issues with greater thought. Issues are not right or wrong, they are complex and take intelligent thought to fully understand.

I hope to have opened some minds to thought if anything else. If we are to be seen as a country of freedom and opportunity then we need to embrace this within ourselves and let go of limitations and fear. We need to expand our level of development and move beyond our own backyards. We must grow beyond limits set by religion, race, age, sexual orientation etc.

There is only one clear choice for me as I do see myself as an educated, high cultured citizen, OBAMA!

23 October, 2008

I had a great day!

Late last night when hubbie came home, he went into the boys' room for his kisses. The little guy V, woke up and said "I had a great day today, daddy". That was really nice to hear, knowing I was the one who made that day great. We did our school work, we had our yummy lunch, we enjoyed music making, we went on a bicycle ride to the park where we played and chased lizards, we went swimming in the pool, and we had yummy french toast for dinner.

What a day and glad that it made my little guy happy. He will remember that mommy made things great, in between the times she was frustrated.

19 October, 2008

Another Endorsement, Make your Vote Count

Well it seems that Barrack Obama is starting to collect endorsements. I awoke this morning to General Collin Powell's announcement. I was thrilled to see a Republican making the right choice! I also liked what he had to say regarding his disappointment with his political party.

Some of you know I was a registered voter 5 years ago. My grandfather was a "small town" Mayor most of my growing years and I was surrounded by politics. I heard all the nastiness of it all and figured it was a stupid thing to be involved with. When I entered College, I actually ran for Student Government and finished out my last 2 years, serving as President. I looked at it more as a social, business minded thing to do and I was good at it. I enjoyed what doors were open to me and I took advantage of each and every experience.

Later I served this country as a VISTA member, the domestic side of the PEACE Corps. The experiences brought me closer and closer to politics, but I still was not registered. I just didn't think it was something for me to do. But there was another reason... if you are going to cast a vote, it should be done with an educated purpose. If I wasn't educated on the issues, then I shouldn't vote. I think this way.

But the time came when I felt I needed to make a choice. I registered and started to make my opinions heard. This past election cycle, I have really grasped this idea of learning the issues and taking the positions of a party. I realize that my vibrations strongly link to one party. This election has helped me grow as an American. I thank Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama for this growth. I also have to give some kudos to Biden, I like his story and he reminds me of my great mentor, Dave Dammann. It is was up to my mentor, I think I would be serving this country in one form or another, destined for the Hill. But alas, I needed to get out of government, as it took too much energy out of me at a time when I wanted to start my family.

Having said this, I also believe our dollar is an excellent way to vote EVERY DAY! With each purchase, we tell the markets what we want. This is important if we are every to create an energy independent nation, that nourishes our citizens with REAL food, clothes our residents with materials that are sustainable and not toxic and helps restore this bountiful country with care, gentleness and consideration for the other.

Vote in November and vote every day with your dollar. It is the best way to effect change and make your statement. Now more than ever, the dollar is powerful and we must spend it wisely!

17 October, 2008

GO OBAMA GO!!!!

Another wonderful post regarding McCain's inability to truly support women, families and their needs: Life and Health Care.

I want to add this little bit...

I have been in a situation where I made a choice regarding one of my own pregnancies. I made my choice and found that if I didn't make that choice, I would have gotten severely ill. It was only after my choice did the doctor find an awful infection that set in. Now maybe given a couple of weeks, the situation would have naturally worked itself out, or quite possibly I may have gotten sicker. But the reality is, we live in a country with choice. Was I happy/relieved to make this choice? NO! It was horrible to sit there and contemplate all of what was swirling around me. But I had a choice. And I still think about that choice and the fact that it helped to prevent me from serious sickness.

My great grandmother would talk about hangers. I grew up not understanding what she meant, until years later. This was what she and her sisters did in Italy. They didn't have the funds to care for these new babies. They also did not ask for this child, but were forced to "perform their matronly duties". Because we live in a country that allows for choice, thankfully women are not driven to chop houses or dare I say HANGERS anymore!

Choice, health, personal relationship with a universal maker is the bottom line. There will be a day of reckoning and that day from some power greater than us, will we figure it all out.

Should we also outlaw the day after pill? Birth control? Hey let's outlaw premarital sex... and while we are at it, let's put in jail all of those men who want to perform their marital rite and their wife does not. I mean seriously, when do we draw the line?

Then of course there is the point that I also fall back on... let's save the unborn, but sacrifice our young adults instead in a way that funds our energy consumption and has padded the wallets of large oil companies.

What does Jesus say? If you are without sin, then cast the first stone.....
I don't remember the line, judge others and make decisions for those who have to face their own consequences.

16 October, 2008

Go OBAMA!

Read this post if you still think McCain is your guy... Really our health, our wages, our intelligence...what next???

13 October, 2008

Contradictions

I feel conflicted... Last week, as the world was falling down around the dollar, I felt amazingly fine. My money issues are not connected really to the markets. Well we are all tied in, but we have very little to be concerned with in the markets as in other areas.

My money issues were very well known to me and I am making progress on my budget, paying down debts, buying less etc. I feel good about being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it has given me hope.

Today, I feel a little shaken. Isn't it easy to go from one position to another with one email, phone call, change in the weather or any other event that has potential for change? I want to go back to my good feelings and let go of these ugly ones. Working real hard on that today.

07 October, 2008

Follow up on "Appropriate" Post

Some good suggestions were given on the past post, questioning Appropriate Sexual Behavior. I have also had some other thoughts on this topic since...

The real question is "What behavior is pushing this action to the surface?" When I was a girl, I know exactly why I was acting a certain way. I was trying to make sense of what happened to me and every now and then these actions would rise to the surface eventually getting me into BIG trouble. I remember thinking how bad I was whenever I would act a certain way, so I vowed to NEVER let that secret out. It was always met with HUGE punishment, spanking, degrading etc. (Now my parents know what happened to me and realize that it wasn't me. Still would have been nice to hear from them we are so sorry to have punished you so severely.) Oh well, water under the bridge, right?

But in the case of my child, his actions were truly innocent. I know his history and experiences. He was mimicking the love he sees and experiences from his parents. This was in the truest sense of innocence and I am glad to have realizes that now. It is a hard road for any survivor of abuse. So many questions we ask of ourselves as parents, as survivors. We also ask a lot of our children and partners along the way to keep it all together so we don't have an emotional trigger. Even if it is never stated, we ask all the same or at least hope and pray they help us in our quest to heal, remain healed and stay in a place of love and support.

I know the challenges will grow, change and challenge, but I do have a wonderful partner and a great support group of friends and family that help me along the way. I am blessed.

06 October, 2008

Appropriate Sexual Behavior

Hmmm, I have been trying to figure out how to tackle this subject because it is a loaded one on many levels. My intent is to put forth observations and work through some conflicting experiences I have had of late.

Let's start with some context, I am a survivor of abuse. As I no longer identify with victim, I do experience triggers, that propel me into a memory. After years of therapy, 18 on and off to be exact, I have progressed into healing and for the most part have a solid grasp on my experience.

Recently, two experiences have caused me to analyze the healing I have achieved. I am starting to question my current stance and need to rethink some actions in the past.

First experience involves a friend of over 25 years. When we met, we were in middle school trying to make our way through the teenage years, high school crap and eventually making decisions for our future. After school, we maintained our relationship through letters and the occasional visit. I enjoyed an open, honest friendship with this person, who is a man. I was relieved to find a person I could trust, and the fact that he was male, defied all those stereotypes where men and women can't be friends. We were friends, good friends that supported, listened, helped when we could and enjoyed discussing our escapades, whatever they were.

Over the years, I myself was going through various stages of healing. There was the denial, the acceptance, the anger, the acting out, the reclaiming of my body, the letting go, the moving forward, etc. My friend was there along for the ride and heard some things maybe a girl should not tell a boy; went into depth that should not have been discussed? I never questioned it, because I was free of the secret and free to say and do whatever I wanted. I wasn't going to let this event decide my life.

My friend also enjoyed the same freedom of discussion with me and shared many events of his life. I accepted him for who he was, is and wanted to be. Again, this idea was so refreshing, as if we were proving everyone wrong. You can have a great friendship between sexes and share the details along the way.

At one point my friend did share that he had a crush on me, back in school. We laughed and moved on. Or so I thought. Occasionally, I would receive emails referencing my body parts. In jest, I took the first couple, because I was this liberated woman who didn't care anymore what the social norms were and how people lived their lives. Then I married a wonderful man, hubbie, and my friend married a truly beautiful woman, I adore. The occasional comments slowed, then popped up now and then again. This time, it was not okay with me. I didn't like the feeling I had, as if I was doing something wrong to shame my hubbie.

Let me be clear, I have never looked to my friend for more than friendship. To this day, he has been a dear friend to me and I am grateful. But to take it further, was never on my mind. I didn't look at him in that manner. I respected him too much to muck it up with sex. I needed a friend and he was there for me.

This past summer another stray comment came and I decided to make a boundary. I couldn't have another man sharing with me thoughts about my body openly. I can't control what people do, think etc. But I can say I don't want to hear those comments anymore. I went on to tell my friend how the comments came across and eventually how I felt as a survivor. I didn't hear from him for some time.

Not one for letting things go... I emailed him one more time, wanting to know if the friendship was severed or repairable. What came next took me by surprise. It seems the person I am today is not a person he would like to have as a friend anymore. The whole lot of me, Homeschooler, Stay at Home Mom, Someone who secretly wishes for a generous benefactor of cash to wipe out the debt,(seriously, don't we all want Oprah to surprise us and make our day with saying all your debts are gone?), and now a person that sent all the wrong messages along the way to my friend.

I struggle with finding peace in this situation. I do wish my friend all the best in his life and certainly didn't mean to cause harm or pain.

Now the questions that come to mind are how does one talk about sex? Is it not okay to talk about sex? When and where is it appropriate? Is it ever appropriate? Sex is so much a part of who I am, for the various reasons connected to my abusive past. If I don't acknowledge this piece of me, am I denying who I am?

I struggle with this in terms of what I am to do now and I struggle with this as a parent.

The second event...

Friends were here for a visit. She has a little girl the same age as my eldest son. They have known each other since birth, or before if you count "in utero". They were so excited to see each other and it was nice to have them play while making memories.

There were a couple of times us parents witnessed some pecks on the cheek. Kissing... at age 6, is this okay? Is this innocent? I honestly don't know. I have no baseline of a normal childhood to measure from. Additionally, I must recognize that I don't want to go bolistic on my child and take it to the extreme because of what happened to me. Now this is the first girl my son has ever kissed and the only girl. At age 2 we thought it was so cute to see them hug and kiss. They kiss anything at that age when asked. We even bathed them together as infants, up until they were almost 3. AFter that, we introduced privacy and private parts and respect. So kissing is it normal? When is it too much?

My son, put a blanket around her while playing Yahtzee. It was the 4 of us, my two boys, my friend's daughter and myself. My son did it with such care, so that she wasn't cold. Then he put his arm around her as we played the game. Something my hubbie does all the time to me, the boys etc. Then the daughter leaned in to his side and they continued to play the game with me and my other son. I had this fast forward flash... here they were at age 16, dating! YIKES! I tried not to let my mind get ahead of me, but also saw with such innocence a kind gesture. They do love each other, we all do, as friends. But when is it too much, not innocent, too soon, are we to blame, as the parents?

I just don't know and since I have had to rethink my actions around the sex topic, I have no idea how to act. I certainly don't want to do something to encourage inappropriateness, but at the same time, I don't want it to be taboo that they are driven towards unhealthy uneducated exploration that could significantly alter their lives.

I will work it through, but gentle thoughts on this loaded topic are appreciated.

02 October, 2008

Anticipating Something Special!

We have visitors arriving tonight, the first since we moved. The house gets a spit shine... vacuumed, dusted, toilets, sheets etc. It will be nice to spend time in our new environment together. I love having visitors, speaks to my Cancerian nature. I also enjoy the preparation before guests arrive. Not that I love cleaning, but it puts me in a mode of preparing for something special and life needs a lot of something special. (I am also one of those who gets giddy about the holiday preparations. In fact the preparation is what the traditions are built on after all. Doesn't the idea of making Christmas Cookies bring wonderful memories to mind?)

The anticipation of something special. I feel the same about the upcoming Election... the anticipation of something special, Lord knows we need that right about now! And just for the record, the last 8 years... NOTHING SPECIAL!